Honoring your contributions and our students' successes

On April 26, the East Side Learning Center (ESLC) celebrated its superhero donors, staff, readers and tutors. The tutors provide one-on-one literacy instruction to maximize the organization’s mission of “unlocking each child’s potential through the foundation of reading.” ESLC Executive Director, Chris Flippo, welcomed and recognized the children who participated in the program becoming Super Readers. Flippo also acknowledged the tutors who provided direct service to the children, saying, “Tutors, you are the Super Heroes who live and work among us to teach the children to read.” 

For the first time ever, the event also included the presentation of three awards for outstanding service, commitment to ESLC  mission and values, and dedication to children: the ESLC Partnership Award, the Theresa Gerhardinger Award, and the Mary Riehle Service Award.

Sister Sharon White, OSF, Program Director, announced the nominees and recipients of the ESLC Partnership Award. The three nominees with exceptional service to ESLC were: Experience Corps, which provides volunteer tutors through the American Association for Retired Persons Foundation (AARP), Edmentum, Inc. which delivers online learning courses, and Craig Sweet of the Wilder Foundation Achievement Plus program. Craig Sweet received the Partnership Award for going above and beyond in his work to enhance partnerships among multiple organizations and keeping ESLC staff updated on important information.

The Theresa Gerhardinger Award is given because ESLC was founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). Theresa Gerhardinger was the foundress of the SSNDs in Bavaria. Her Sisters came to America to promote their mission of educating the poor, immigrants, and girls.  Executive Director Flippo described her work this way: “Sister Theresa started schools in the 1800s when leaders believed that girls and the poor should not go to school or learn to read and write. ESLC would not be here without the service of the SSND women.” Nominees for the award were: Alyssa Hamel, Sr. Rita Jirik, SSND, Cindy Mullan, Lizz Paulson, Sr. Sharon White, OSF, and Sr. Jane Thibault, SSND.

The recipient of the 2018 Theresa Gerhardinger Award was Sr. Sharon White, OSF, who has served as a clear, effective role model and leader in promoting ESLC’s mission, instructional philosophy, and core values. In presenting the award, Flippo said, “Sister Sharon has given life and meaning to the words and wisdom of Theresa Gerhardinger.”

The final award, the Mary Riehle Service Award, recognizes individuals who embody Mary’s spirit of service and who possess the same qualities of kindness, respect, and a loving heart. The honorees were: Dean Andrews, Lois Charboneau, Jean Fenstad, Sharon Johnson, Ann Marie Schaffhausen, and Mike Stuhl.

The recipient of the Mary Riehle Service Award was Sharon Johnson, whose commitment as a professional tutor has meant building relationships with her students. Sharon has worked hard on lessons by making them interesting and effective for each child. Her willingness to help in any way that improves student service and outcomes exemplifies all that Mary Riehle represented and lived every day of her life.

Watch the thank you video from the event